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New law sees criminal capacity of child increased from 10 years to 12 years

05 June 2020 - 11:48 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
The minimum age of criminal capacity of a child has been increased from 10 years to 12 years.
The minimum age of criminal capacity of a child has been increased from 10 years to 12 years.
Image: 123rf.com/Allan Swart

The minimum age of criminal capacity of a child has been increased from 10 years to 12 years, according to a new law.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law various bills, including the Child Justice Amendment Act.

“The act repeals the requirement to prove criminal capacity for the purpose of diversion and preliminary inquiries,” the presidency said, adding that the change arose from a recommendation in a report on the review of the minimum age of criminal capacity.

“The report further recommended that the provisions in the act which require the state to prove the criminal capacity of a child who is 10 years or older but under the age of 14 years for purpose of diversion and preliminary inquiries should be removed,” said the presidency.

The presidency has also signed into law the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) Amendment Act, which provides for parliamentary oversight in relation to the suspension, discipline or removal of the executive director of Ipid.

“The new amendment gives effect to the Constitutional Court judgment in McBride v minister of police and another [2016] ZACC 30.

“The Constitutional Court declared as invalid certain provisions of the Ipid Act that authorised the minister of police to suspend the executive director, to take disciplinary steps against the executive director following suspension, and to remove the executive director from office. The Constitutional Court then ordered parliament to address the defects in the legislation.”

The Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Act (PAIA) is a new law that provides for the recording, preservation and disclosure of information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates.

The bill, the presidency said, gives effect to the Constitutional Court judgment in My Vote Counts NPC v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Another [2018] ZACC 18 which required parliament to amend PAIA, and to take any other measure it deems appropriate to provide for the recording, preservation and facilitation of reasonable access to information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates.


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